My dad, years ago, said:

the high school education he received in Mississippi County high school (graduated 1959) was about the equivalent to a jr. high education now. His parents were poor share croppers, with 4 kids (3 girls, 1 boy). They heated their house with a wood stove. My dad had to go out and chop the wood for the stove. If my dad wanted anything in life he had to scrape the money together to get it.

He served in the Air Force for 2 years. After that he has pretty much been self-employed all of his life. It was very difficult in the early years, even till I got out of high school in 1978. However, my dad has worked, pounded the concrete floors in whatever business he had at the time, scrimped and saved. Now he has retired though he still owns and manages several commercial properties. His net worth is probably several million by now. He pays cash for everything.

Oh, and my mom’s family were farmers as well and she went to the same high school my dad did.

My dad, frugal as he is, went to buy PJ’s at Penney’s. He found out that he could get 20% off by opening a credit card. (His visa is paid off monthly before the due date.) His plan was to open the card, make a purchase, then close the account. Anyway, the clerk attempted to open an account and it would not go through …. my dad, though not as rich as VLs, has the same problem with credit reports! His house is paid off, all commercial properties are paid off, he has NO debt and hasn’t for decades. He could not get a stupid Penney’s card but could buy out all the merchandise in the local store if he wanted to. Go figure. Oh, he still bought the PJ’s.

My dad was not successful because of a stellar education. He was not successful due to influential mentors or big wig financing by a big bank or “silent partner”. It was choices he made … one small choice/decision/baby step at a time. It was also due to prayer to God asking for wisdom.

I hope to have 1/2 the wisdom my dad has now by the time I pass on.

Maybe the high school requirements have been dumbed down in some areas

but in Georgia the requirements have been increased so dramatically that many students are dropping out. They totally faced out the general education tracks diplomas and also the vo-tech. The college prep track was the only option. The guidance counselor at our son’s private school told us that it was a huge issue state wide for all high schools, both public and private. Some districts are actually encouraging kids to consider a GED. The idea was that since Georgia’s test scores were always in the bottom 5%, The state’s standing would only increase if most of those likely to score low were pursuing a GED. So Soon Georgia’s school’s will no longer rate 49th out of 50; but their drop-out rate will soar.
And people wonder why the homeschooling numbers are climbing.

Any comments?

The article opens with a set of statements that American educational achievements are slipping against world standards (but the article doesn’t explain how that’s measured or why it’s occurring). The article author then interviews four 30-something individuals who didn’t attend and/or graduate from college. Their perspectives on their current financial situations, and whether college would change those situations, were rather interesting. I also found it interesting that their attitudes about life and work and a variety of non-education issues, flavored their opinions on whether college would have been worthwhile. They also had some interesting opinions on how their current financial situation was caused by, and/or would have been helped (or not helped) by a college education. Frankly, I think their attitudes shaped their current situation far more than a college education would have. But I thought I’d share and see what the forum thought about the article, and the notions of a) whether college is necessary in today’s world and b) whether the American educational system is failing our young adults.